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Formation linked.

I've tried multiple games as Wolves here, with various 4-1-4-1 setups, this is the most recent, and I just can't get it into my head how to balance this out. For some reason my guys get eviscerated when it comes to defending, but they create a good amount of chances. But oh lord the finishing.

So I guess the request here is might someone point me in the direction of getting my front three firing, my midfield functioning and my defense at least awake?

I'm not even new to the series, I've had every edition since 2009 and played far too many hours and yet! I am at a loss.


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In your midfield, what is the carrilero doing? Why do you need a central midfielder who looks to cover the wide areas? Normally, you would use this role when you have only one wide player. Here, you have two players on the flanks, do you really need a third one to help out?

Why do you have automatic fullbacks? What do you want them to do, and then set the mentality accordingly, otherwise you will change their play every time you switch mentality. This probably links into the use of the overlap instruction. Who is doing the overlapping?

Three attack roles will make your front three relatively isolated. It can work, particularly if you are seeing a lot of balls from the DLP to the poacher over the top. Otherwise, when you have the ball, all your three strikers are going to press into the defense. The Mezzala will somewhat help to link the midfield and the attack, but this is something you may wish to change. When I play with this formation, I tend to use a support oriented attacker like a DLF to help to link play and bring other players around him into the match. This is certainly not the only way to do it, it depends on what you actually want your forwards to do.

I think the important thing to ask yourself when trying to build a tactic is "what do I want each one of my players to do?". Once you have a good idea of what you want from them, it can become easier to select a role and a duty.


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You're not wrong. Honestly the roles and such have changed so much so many times I think I've really lost track of what I wanted.

I think I could change that Carrilero to a CM(S), leave the MEZ(S) and leave the DLP(D) or (S) back there.

I do worry that a DLF won't work great for Belotti as he has no Vision but everything else is a solid attribute. I would like for him to be banging in goals honestly, I always feel my striker is actually not striking, but - at least in the past - my Inside Forwards usually the star man.


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I am not familiar with your team, so I cannot offer a more concrete piece of advice. But some general suggestion would be to start with as few instructions as possible, then watch games to see whether your players are doing what you want (expect) them to and tweak the tactic accordingly. For example, let's imagine you want to control possession and have most of the ball, but playing patiently and not rushing into all-out attacks. What should be your starting settings?

Mentality - positive

In possession - slightly lower tempo and play out of defence (hence just 2 instructions)

In transition - hold shape and counter press (again only 2 instructions, aside from GK distribution)

Out of possession - prevent short GKD (only 1). This part is the trickiest because you should neither be too aggressive nor too much restrained. Perhaps more urgent pressing is the only instruction to employ from the start, while d-line and LOE can be left on default until you gain a better perspective on how things are playing out.

Next step - setting up roles and duties in a 4141DM Wide that are reasonably suitable for the aforementioned style of football. Just one example (not necessarily suitable for your team):


APMs                                   IFa

CMa    DLPs


FBa      CDd       CDd       WBs


Why have I selected these particular roles? Controlling possession (usually) needs a playmaker. Why not two, but of a different type and in different strata. What is important for playmakers to do their job properly? A sufficient number of passing options available at any point, including a couple of teammates attacking space in different areas of the pitch to play some nice balls into space for (when a good opportunity arises). In this case these are FB on attack (to naturally overlap the APM and then look to provide useful crosses into the box), CM on attack (as a deep runner to offer more attacking threat up front) and IF on attack (to be a constant thorn in the side of their defence and occasionally on the receiving end of crosses from the opposite side of the pitch). Then we have the DLP on support who looks to control the play from a deeper position and also occasionally plays passes into space for more advanced teammates. WB on support is there to offer more width on the right, but also to provide more immediate support to the IF. Then we have the HB whose primary role is to give the back line more stability, but also to serve as an additional and relatively safe passing option when needed. And finally, PF is on support duty in order to be more involved in build-ups (because it suits the playing style we want to achieve) while at the same time helping to create more space for the deep runners. F9 or DLF would be better options IMO, but you said Belotti is lacking vision, so let him be a simple PF.

Now, as we set all this up, we can play (an experimental) match and tweak, add (or remove) certain tactical settings (TIs and/or PIs) one by one, depending on what we observe while watching the game, until we are satisfied with how the team is playing.



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I'll echo Exp Def in not knowing your team and also Sporadiac in the Mez seems not a good fit.  I think you are suffering from not enough space in the final third and not being able to get back in your third.  So in addition/alternative to what has been posted above:

1.  Lower defensive line, standard or lower engagement.  This will create some natural space for your attackers to move into when there is a gain of possession, it also will get butts back into defense.

2.  Lose Pass into Space, this is one of those used way too often instructions.  Your boys will pass into space without being told often enough if you don't tighten up passing range too much.

3.  If you are going possession SLOW DOWN, that is more important than passing range.

4.  The Mez naturally moves into channels, so on that side you are going to have a WB, FB, and Mez all out between the edge of the penalty area and the sideline.  Goes back to not enough space.

5.  Defend narrower attack wider or vice versa, your choice, but create overloads somewhere when attacking and try mitigating overloads on defense.

If you are still having problems on defense, maybe look at 4-2-1-3 DM, moving your Car/BBM to VOL (A or S), the other DM a REG or DLP in Defense, and then your "true" MC (A or S inverted from your VOL).  This will open up space on the attack with the late runs of the VOL while keeping your defensive shape pretty solid.

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